We will soon publish new PhD and Postdoc positions here.

The Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse invites applications for

1 Scientific Coordinator

The Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, combines expertise in life, material, optical and computational sciences to elevate microbiome studies from descriptive to hypothesis-driven and functional analyses. Our core mission is to elucidate fundamental principles of the interactions and functions in microbial communities in diverse habitats ranging from oceans and ground water to plant and human hosts. We aim to identify the shared characteristics of disturbed or polluted ecosystems as well as infectious diseases on the microbiome level, and develop strategies for their remediation by targeted interventions. Our full spectrum of expertise in the physical and life sciences will be leveraged to address these important issues in natural habitats as well as synthetic arenas in a collaborative manner.

Scientific Coordinator
We are looking for a scientist with research experience in the field of the cluster and a strong interest in the development of research strategies, science policy and networking.

Application deadline: 28th June 2019


At the heart of the Microverse Cluster are our early career researchers who participate in a research-oriented, interdisciplinary training program that unites the expertise from the Friedrich Schiller University and the participating research institutes.

We foster international exchange and collaborations, and promote gender equality and the compatibility of family and career.

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Early Career

Jena has become a highly attractive research and training environment centered around microbial communication and optics/photonics. The Friedrich Schiller University offers 13 Master degree programs tailored to the research topic of the Microverse Cluster.

The Jena School for Microbial Communication forms the cornerstone for doctoral training in the Microverse Cluster. In optics and photonics, a second research area of high relevance to Microverse topics, the Abbe School of Photonics offers a well-established Master and doctoral program. The Microverse Early Career Program coordinates interdisciplinary doctoral training programs, mentoring offers and support measures for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

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Graduate Schools

Jena School for Microbial Communication

The JSMC offers a structured, interdisciplinary doctoral training program centered on deciphering the chemical language of microorganisms. The doctoral projects are situated at the interfaces of biology, chemistry, medicine, geology, opto-physics and bioinformatics. The JSMC network includes institutes and clinics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena as well as non-university research institutions and biotech companies.



Abbe School of Photonics

The Abbe School of Photonics provides and coordinates Masters degree and doctoral programs in optical and photonics technologies. The School's interdisciplinary education programs are embedded in the Abbe Center of Photonics of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, with strong bonds to local research institutions and industry partners.


Graduate Academy

Graduate Academy

The Graduate Academy supports young graduates and postdocs at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in cooperation with the faculties, graduate schools and research training groups. It offers consulting services, training opportunities and networking events for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in Jena.


Competitive Recruitment

Competitive Recruitment

In a multi-step recruitment process, selected applicants are invited to a recruitment meeting in Jena that includes candidate lectures, personal interviews, visits to institutes and a get-together with current doctoral researchers.

Transdisciplinary Training

Transdisciplinary Training

Our cross-disciplinary, research-oriented training program allows doctoral candidates to select from a broad range of course topics, interdisciplinary workshops and summer schools offered by our graduate schools.

Interdisciplinary Supervision

Interdisciplinary Supervision

Doctoral researchers are supervised by three faculty members from different scientific disciplines to promote cross-disciplinary training. A supervisory committee monitors and advises on the research progress and career development.

Networking Opportunities

Networking Opportunities

Annual international scientific meetings and joint academia and industry events facilitate research collaborations. The International Scientist Exchange Program provides external networking opportunities.

Career Support

Career Support

Efforts to prepare our graduates for different career paths include cross-disciplinary mentoring, an ‘alternative careers in science’ seminar series and alumni meetings.

Support of Postdoctoral Researchers

Postdoctoral Researchers

Postdoctoral researchers are included in our mentoring program, career orientation and training offers and networking activities. We strive to promote early scientific independence.

Alleviate Work-related Pressures

Alleviate Work-related Pressures

We are committed to take a more proactive approach to tackling mental health problems. Counselling offers alleviate stress and anxiety and foster a healthy work-life balance.


The Microverse Cluster seeks to attract excellent minds from all over the world and fosters international collaborations by creating a creative and inspirational working environment. Our planned International Scientists Exchange Program will coordinate research stays of visiting professors to Jena and short-term fellowships for Jena’s early career researchers to perform part of their research in laboratories abroad or in industry.

Equal Opportunity

The Microverse Cluster strives to provide the best possible working conditions for all its members – regardless of nationality, gender, age or health. The equal opportunity officer is happy to provide advisory support on this topic to all staff members. The Microverse Cluster will specifically promote the career development of female researchers, to achieve gender balance even in senior academic positions.

Family and Career

We understand the reconciliation of family life and a scientific career as the crucial basis for successful research work. The Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the participating non-university research institutions are members of the ‘Jena Alliance for Families’, which promotes a family-friendly infrastructure and culture.